Jesus said those who hear the word of God and observe it are blessed. His statement was brought on by a woman in the crowd crying out, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed.” Her words implied that it was the family Jesus came from that made him such a worthy person. In his saying no to that, Jesus was putting aside the attitudes of tribal-minded people who saw some families as good, and others as bad.
Instead, he was saying that each of us will be judged to be either blessed or evil on our own merits. He went on to lay down two requirements for anyone to be blessed in God’s eyes. The first requirement is that one hears the Word God, the second is that one observes that word of God.
As to the first, how does one hear the word of God? His word does not come as an audible voice the way God’s voice was said to have come to the boy Samuel as he lay sleeping at the shrine in Shiloh. No, it comes to one through the words of the Bible and the words of one’s elders. But it often happens that we hear conflicting directives from them, and that leaves us uncertain. That often happens, and when it does, we must seek his voice through earnest prayer.